Thank you, Gilmore Girls, for not only being a great show, but also for supporting my technology habbit.
Those who knew me in college know that one of the highlights of my week was TV Night. We’d all get together, get some Chinese takeout, and watch awesome shows, like CSI, Third Watch, Friends, and Dawson’s Creek. I ordered those shows in order of manliness.
Those who knew me in college will also note that I enjoyed Dawson’s Creek. I admit it, I am a sucker for evening soaps. “But, Derek,” you may ask, “Now that Dawson’s Creek is over, what show can possibly fill your TV viewing void?” I would respond, “GILMORE GIRLS.”
My man points just plumeted. I need to eat 5 Chipotle burritos to make up for that. It’s true, though. I took a bit of a TV hiatus when I first moved to Virginia. Partly because I had no one to spend TV Night with, and partly because I was holding out on buying cable/watching serious TV until I got a TV worthy of showing it. That never happened. What did happen is that I met Julie and she and I and her roommates would watch Gilmore Girls, Nanny 911 (later replaced by Supernanny), and Wife Swap.
At first, I only casually watched Gilmore Girls, but the more I watched it, the more I liked it. For me, it’s Lorolei’s wise cracks and both of the girls’ obscure references that make it worth watching. But then I get sucked into the story.
So how does this relate to technology?
My only complaint with TV is that it generally stinks. In the Internet age, there are plenty of ways to filter out all of the garbage and get to the stuff you want. For example, RSS feeds allow me to bypass busy homepages and just quickly skim through the articles. The AdBlock plugin for Firefox allows me to turn off all those annoying ads on any site. Popup blockers to a pretty good job blocking popups. When you watch TV, you’re forced to sit through their ads and sit through cruddy shows just to get to the good stuff. Plus, if you’re not at a TV at the prescribed time, you miss your stories.
What’s a nerd to do?
The solution to my problem came as my company got a new contract. We were recently hired by another company who makes TiVo-like devices to get a software package called MythTV working on their hardware. I watched in envy as my coworkers got to “test” the system on a 32” LCD TV.
I was intrigued. Later, I visited my parents and found that they had purchased a new plasma TV. My dad also had an old PC sitting around. I put 2 and 2 together and decided I would put together a MythTV box for him. I then realized that with the right TV tuner card, I could run MythTV on my old PC that’s just been sitting around lately. SWEET.
I mentioned getting a TV tuner for my birthday to Julie. She was equally intrigued at the possibility of recording the Gilmore Girls while we’re at band practice. If I were president Bush, this would be like an “electoral mandate” to start a war. In my case, this was a mandate to put together a Personal Video Recorder!
At this point, after about a week’s work, I have a machine that can watch TV and record. Now I just have to get the TV Output and the remote working and I’m all set. Hopefully I can do this by 7:00 tonight.